It’s hard to believe October is here. The time since the first day of classes has gone by so quickly. Our students have been in classes for about six weeks now which means it’s almost time for mid-terms! They are right around the corner and not long after mid-terms are finals. There are some resources you can share with your student to help them succeed as they go through the rest of the semester and their time at Missouri State. Some are related to academics and some are related to their overall health and well-being.
- The Bear CLAW (Center for Learning & Writing) – The Bear CLAW is a fabulous resource. This interactive space in Meyer Library unites the resources and expertise of the faculty, library personnel, computer and information technology, the Writing Center, subject -area tutoring, Absent Professor Program, PSY 121 Undergraduate Learning Assistants and PASS (Peer Assisted Study Sessions) in an environment that fosters informal, collaborative work and social interaction. Bear CLAW tutoring services vary by subject. The Bear CLAW space is open during regular Library hours.
- Ask a Librarian – Your student can send a message to a librarian if they are having trouble finding things in the Library. What a cool resource! They can visit the Library website to send their question.
- Ask a Math Tutor – If your student can’t make it to the Bear CLAW to face-to-face tutoring, they can as a math tutor. Your student can visit http://bearclaw.missouristate.edu/EmailaMathTutor.htm and send their question to the math tutor.
- Talk to their Professors – The professors are here to help the students they teach so your student should take advantage of their office hours. They need to get to know the professor, ask questions about things they aren’t sure of, and let the professor know they are interested in the class and doing their best. Professors can be a student’s best reference when the student is looking at internships, jobs after college, etc. This is a resource they don’t want to waste.
- Make an appointment to visit with their Advisor – Students with less than 75 credit hours are required to meet with their advisor before they register for the next semester of classes. The advisor is a fabulous resource. They know the classes, they talk the student through the conversations about their major, changing their major, minors and dropping/adding classes. They also serve as a mentor. They want our students to be successful and graduate from Missouri State with a degree they are happy with and a path to their career. Encourage them to make an appointment with their advisor sooner rather than later.
- Find their place to study – A good place to study goes along way for our students and there are lots of options available. Of course, the Meyer Library (the students call the library Club Meyer) has many rooms for studying, group projects, and peace and quiet. Other places that offer good study areas are the Plaster Student Union, the Multicultural Resource Center, and the study rooms in the residence halls. Many students find it useful to go off campus to local coffee shops to study. Wherever they choose, they need to be comfortable an able to concentrate on their work.
- Get their flu shot and utilize Taylor Health – Working hard all semester and coming down with the flu during finals is no fun. If they are proactive and get their flu shot, that reduces their chances of getting sick. The flu shot is now available! If they do get sick, Taylor Health is a wonderful facility they should definitely use. Typically, if a student calls early in the morning, they can get in for an appointment the same day. For a standard visit (colds, flu), the visit is free. Taylor Health also has a great pharmacy that has very competitive prices. I myself get all my prescriptions and over the counter medicine from Taylor Health.
- Take care of themselves – We can tell our students they need to take care of themselves but they are the ones that have to actually take care of themselves. They need sleep. I see you are laughing because we all know college students don’t sleep. But they need to work sleep into their schedule. They need to eat healthy. Kicking their day off with breakfast is a great way to energize for the day ahead. If they are missing lunch because of classes, remind them, if they have a dining plan, they can get a brown bag lunch (or dinner) to go. They can see the cashier of their favorite dining hall and fill out a form to get a brown bag meal. There are also food locations in the Plaster Student Union, Strong Hall, the Library and Glass Hall.
- Exercise at Foster Rec Center – Foster Rec is a beautiful building that houses all kinds of state-of-the art exercise equipment. They have a track for walking, weights, treadmills, basketball, volleyball, a pool with a great lazy river…the possibilities are endless. Even if they only have 30 minutes to walk on the treadmill or ride a bike, that 30 minutes can give them a renewed spirit, ready to go back to the books.
- Take advantage of Springfield – As much as they love the campus, it never hurts to go off campus to see what Springfield has to offer. From parks to art museums and many other activities, there is always something to do in Springfield. About three blocks from campus is Phelps Grove Park which is a lovely space to head to when they want to enjoy the fall weather, hammock, run or just hang out. There is a walking trail that winds around Springfield that a lot of our students take advantage of. Walk Springfield also winds through campus. If they want to really be creative, they should go see the World’s Largest Fork (yes, that is in Springfield) or the local castle, the Pythian Castle.
- The Counseling Center – Stress definitely is an everyday thing for our students. Sometimes you need someone other than a family member or a friend to talk to about issues that are causing your stress. We have a wonderful counseling center here on campus that your student can visit and work through the things that are bothering them. The Counseling Center is located in Carrington Hall.
These are all great things your student can do to help themselves and you can share the info with them. But you can also help in other ways. Send a care package of their favorite treats or gift cards, or silly games. Come visit (never by surprise) and spend time getting to know their “home away from home.” Send mail. They love mail and opening a card from Grandma and Grandpa, their siblings or their dog and cat really gives them something to smile about. If your student is a commuter student, put treats on their car seat, mail them a letter (yes, they live at home but who doesn’t want to get mail), or invite their friends over for dinner (college students really enjoy a home-cooked meal).
Most of all, let your student know you support them! That’s what they want to know!